I decided the other day to post exactly what my garden looks like today. It's not perfect and I'm still in the process of mulching a few bare spots and replacing plants that didn't make it through the winter. We've had a very stormy spring but on the upside, my garden is well watered. This is a long post. You might want to go grab a snack and settle in!
It's very overcast today and my camera battery is about to die, but come on in!
Endless Summer hydrangeas fill the space under the bay window. I used to have red rhododendrons here but a severe ice storm many years ago killed them. Pink obedient plants and phlox grow near the rain barrel and serve as an excellent disguise, attracting pollinators and hummingbirds.
Mardi Gras glossy abelia has lime green new growth but develop beautiful varigation as the season warms.
Mardi Gras abelia is covered with white tubular flowers in early summer and again in the fall. The front of my house faces east and on warm, sunny mornings, I can usually find hummers and bees busy in the abelia.
A big blue 'President' clematis blooms every spring. One bloom has already started to open. By the time the entire vine is in full bloom, it will have climbed to the top of the trellis.
I stopped using this metal birdbath several years ago when I realized it turned the water into a hot tub, most likely resulting in a few singed songbirds. I dug it out of storage recently and filled it with decorative rocks and flat glass marbles. A 'Little Princess' dwarf spirea along with daffodils and daylillies grows at the base. The clematis in the background will be enormous and covered with blue flowers by late May.
Helleri hollies and daylillies grow along the walkway. The daylillies help disguise fading tulip and daffodil foliage. The pot along the steps has a big Four O'Clocks tuber in it. I wonder how prompt they'll be? :o)
Several years ago an online nursery was cleaning out its peony inventory and selling them in bags marked Pink, Red, and White. I loved the idea of not knowing what the flowers would look like and bought several bags. The flowers are beautiful, of course! I've never met an unattractive peony! The clumps of grass are headed to the back to fill in any holes dug by the dogs.
The Yuck Side
I actually really like my yuck side! I just call it that since so often the side of a house that holds the air conditioning units and utility meters is either unlandscaped or covered in giant boxy shrubs that restrict air flow to the A/C units, resulting in higher bills. Lilacs, sweetbox, wood anemones, and a massive bleeding heart help fill in my Yuck side. We were draining the rain barrel as I took these pictures.
I need to cut back the bleeding heart a bit to keep it from suffocating the heuchera.
'Miss Kim' lilacs grow along side the cranberry bush. Rainbow leucothoe, a fussy shrub that tests my patience every year, grows in front. I recently cut a few branches back almost to the ground and they've put out new growth. If I didn't love their foliage so much, I would have yanked them years ago.
The Back Garden
This gate leads you from the Yuck Side to the Back Garden. Come on in!
A native clematis crispa has unique bell shaped flowers with thick petals that curve outward. It grows well along the fence between the Yuck Side and the Back Garden.
Peach 'Minnie Pearl' daylilles, white mist flower, and a red clematis fill this corner of the garden bed. Painters Palette (persicaria virginica) grows on the other side of the fence in front of the Big Daddy rain barrel.
'Pink a Boo' fuzzy deutzia and pink lamium bloom in the spring. The bees cover the flowers so thickly the whole corner seems to hum. I'm planning on filling the urn with purple gomphrena, one of my favorite annuals.
The Rose of Sharon Garden
A beautiful blue Roguchi clematis climbs up the railing, assisted by a swath of bird netting. Chrysoganum 'Quinn's Gold' as well as white heart leaf aster and blue plumbago fill this bed. Showy tick trefoil is planted in the back but it's so small you can't see it in this photo. The back of this bed is extremely dry and shady. If the tick trefoil doesn't make it, I may have to stick silk tulips in the ground!
A massive trumpet creeper has been pruned into temporary submission. My neighbors and I, as well as the hummingbirds, love its orange flowers, but it requires constant vigilance or it will take over the garden, robbing the surrounding plants of nutrients and sunshine.
The Dog Run Garden
The Dog Run Garden starts at the top of the hill. It includes many large native trees left by the builder and is stuffed with monarda, phlox, rudbeckia, daylillies, asters, diervilla, joe pye weed, blue mist flower, blue stem solidago, toadflax, tick trefoil, ruellia, kanutia, amsonia, veronica, and many others.
I took this picture while standing in the dog run. Heavy rains have created lush, full growth.
Soaker hoses keep this area watered. Nepeta, daylillies, white dracocephalum, and wine cups grow along the front. A large swath of monarda fills in the back.
Blue amsonia about to bloom
Pink armeria, which the dogs love to pee on! Grr!!!
This bed borders a wonderful neighbor who loves to joke that he has the best view on the street ~ all the beauty, none of the work. I think he's right! This bed is full of bluebird asters, dwarf solidago, 'rotkugel' oregano, coneflowers, agastache, phlox, winecups, sedum, and several others.
Ceanothus grows in the shade of a huge laurel oak. Pink clematis, bluebird asters, daylillies, rudbeckia hirta, knautia, dianthus, sedum, and geraniums fill in this corner.
Doronicum 'Little Leo', golden alexanders, eupatorium 'Chocolate', blackberries, and asiatic lillies grow near one of the crepe myrtles.
Rounding the corner to the other side of the garden.... Spigellia, persian cornflower, 'Chester Thornless' blackberries, and lots of tradescanita grow here.
This garden bed is full of dry shade, thanks to a moisture sucking river birch. I love the river birch, though. It solved a huge water problem left for us by the bozo who installed our patio. A gorgeous variegated brunnera that grew here for many years but went dormant each summer didn't come back. It was a diva but I miss it already! Epimediums, anenome, amsonia, purple euphorbia, thalictrum, bowman's root, tiarella (some of those didn't come back, either), and violets grow here.
One of the few tiarella that survived the drought.
A Rutger's Hybrid Stellar Pink dogwood grows near my patio. It's currently fighting a dogwood borer invasion, but I think we're winning. :o) Sweetspire 'Little Henry', coneflowers, Johnson's Blue geraniums, yarrow, 'Rotkugel' oregano, silene regia, salvia, columbine, lillies, mountain mint, phlox, a Night Owl climbing rose, pink milkweed, New York Ironweed, daylillies,caryopteris, monarda, kalimeris, stokesia, and a few others fill this moist, sunny spot.
Pink clematis climb around a decorative bird house snubbed by the birds. They'd all rather move into the little house by the crepe myrtles!
I think this might be 'Pink Champagne'.
Out the garden gate we go....